Floor covering and rugs are chosen early in the design process. They are the foundation of the room, and as such are often best selected at the beginning, especially if they are one-of-a-kind. While color is always part of the picture, initial choices are more centered around what uniqueness the floor covering offers.
What markets or design centers do you attend?
I use the Washington Design Center, Rug showrooms in NYC, and the High Point Market. I truly enjoy being able to see complete lines at the market. It is a great way to see what’s new or what you may have forgotten about. Most of our carpets initially come from sales reps, who bring us architectural sample folders for our library. I have 9 people on my design team, so our library is in constant use. I also like the ease of coordinating selections and then calling for the larger samples for presentations or color coordination.
Do you have a favorite style or fiber?
Wool is incredible for its hand, durability, and clean-ability. We use more wool carpet than any other kind. That’s all I have in my home.
Do you purchase custom often?
We probably produce 20 custom rugs a year, usually because we want something that isn’t made. Normally I like the scale to be larger.
Are there any design rules you like to follow particularly or like to break?
Good question! My personal rule is that small rugs make a room look and feel small. I like rugs that fill a room. I like rugs to be under furniture (or at least have their front legs on the carpet) to provide an inviting sense to the room. I also use a lot of non rectangular rugs. I find that circles and ovals are very welcoming. I also like octagons and rectangular rugs that have angled corners.
What about purchasing on the computer and internet?
You can get inspiration from the internet, but you can’t trust the color your monitor is showing. Rugs and fabrics will need to be seen in the light they are going to perform in. You can do some basic weeding out and research on the internet, but you need the actual samples to work with. Working with dealers that you trust and have a relationship with will produce better results than taking a chance on an unknown.